New - don't understand cholesterol score

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-13-2007
New - don't understand cholesterol score
Tue, 03-24-2009 - 3:21pm

Hi. I just got the results of my cholesterol screening, but I don't really understand them. The nurse said it was elevated and told me the numbers, but I still am not sure what they mean. Bad cholesterol is very prevalent in my family. The nurse recommended diet and exercise and to check again in a year. I'm willing to do that, but I'd like to understand my score better. If anybody can enlighten me, I'd appreciate it. Or if you know of a website that explains it well, that would help too. Here are the numbers:

(I wrote the letters wrong for this one, so I don't know what it is): 75
HDL: 48
VLDL: 15
LDL: 150
Total score: 213

Now, to me those numbers don't total 213, so I don't get that part. I don't know if other information is helpful, but here it is: I just turned 29 and am in the exact middle of the normal BMI range (according to my friend's Wii Fit - don't know how accurate that is). I already do 1.5 hours of cardio/strength twice a week, but I can do more. And I don't eat terribly, but I can do better.

One main concern I'm having is that DH and I are planning to start TTC #2 this summer. Is there any reason we should wait? Do we need to make sure this is totally under control before going ahead?

Sorry this post is all over the place! I'm just trying to think through things. TIA for any insight you have!

Siggy #3 (10/08)
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Siggy 5
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Tue, 03-24-2009 - 4:48pm

Welcome to Heart Health!! I love your screen name!

First off, I'm so sorrry that you're confused by the numbers of your screening. This post will be long, but I want to make sure you have all the info and options. Here are the numbers...

Cholesterol levels are measured in milligrams (mg) of cholesterol per deciliter (dL) of blood. But what are the optimal levels of these various lipids? Consider these general guidelines.

Total cholesterol
Below 200 mg/dL Desirable
200-239 mg/dL Borderline high
240 mg/dL and above High

LDL cholesterol
Below 70 mg/dL Optimal for people at very high risk of heart disease
Below 100 mg/dL Optimal for people at risk of heart disease
100-129 mg/dL Near optimal
130-159 mg/dL Borderline high
160-189 mg/dL High
190 mg/dL and above Very high

HDL cholesterol
Below 40 mg/dL Poor
40-59 mg/dL Better
60 mg/dL and above Best

Below 150 mg/dL Desirable
150-199 mg/dL Borderline high
200-499 mg/dL High
500 or above Very high

Total Health has some awesome information on cholesterol and I invite you to check it out. Cholesterol, Increasing good cholesterol, and Lowering bad cholesterol.

Your numbers are boderline high to normal. In my opinion, I don't see why you couldn't start TTC at any time. I do recommend, however, that you follow up on your cholesterol levels with you doctor. Also discuss with him/her that you're ready to add a new member to your family.

I also have problems with high cholesterol and I'm on medication for it. My doctor explained to me that the biggest problem with my cholesterol is genetic. I still watch what I eat and take the prescribed medication, but I give more credit to the meds.

I hope this has helped. Should you have more questions, please feel free to post them. I'll do my best to help you in any way possible.

With Heart Hugs, Geri